- Written by Ron Harrison, Ph.D.
Sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite, the old saying goes. Many people think of bed bugs as fictional nighttime visitors, but the fact is, these nocturnal pests are becoming a real problem.Infestations are common, especially in hospitality settings, and when they occur they evoke – right or wrong – the impression that infested hotels are unsanitary and of low quality. While research does not currently indicate a serious health risk associated with bed bugs, the appearance of these pests threaten the health of a business’ reputation. To ensure that your brand doesn’t get put through the wringer, put these prevention strategies to work.
TAKE IT TO THE MATTRESSES
Hotel rooms give bed bugs the perfect combination of a reliable food source and convenient harborage in mattresses, box springs, behind wooden headboards, in couch cushions and other furniture.
Bed bugs typically hide during the daytime, so it’s difficult to spot them. Instead, look for small, rust-colored stains they leave behind. When changing the sheets, pay careful attention to signs of bed bug presence on mattress edges, tags and seams, as well as on box springs.
An inexpensive synthetic covering on mattresses and especially box springs prevents bed bugs from reaching the fibrous interior or hiding along edges or under tags. For pests that have already found harborage, the encasement prevents their escape.
Periodically, perform a more extensive inspection of the room. While bed bugs are often discovered in the bed, they can hide behind headboards, under seat cushions, in electrical outlets, behind pictures or beneath buckled carpet.
Because so few people react visibly to initial bed bug bites, the presence of noticeable bite reactions – or the lack thereof – may not be a reliable early indicator of bed bug presence. Without regular monitoring practices, bed bugs may go undetected for a longer period of time.
Once you detect bed bugs in the room, take the following steps.
- Report – Alert management immediately to ensure that a pest management professional is contacted as soon as possible
- Quarantine – Take the room out of service until it has been inspected and treated. If guests must be moved, pre-treat the new room.
- Launder – For items that can be laundered, wash in hot water with detergent and dry in a dryer. The combination of heat and soap will kill bed bugs and remove any eggs.
- Dispose – If furniture or other items harboring bed bugs can be disposed of, it increases the chances of a successful eradication.
Bed bug infestations can be difficult to remedy. Work with your pest management provider to develop a monitoring strategy so that, when it all comes out in the wash, your reputation remains spotless.
|Ron Harrison, Entomologist, Ph.D., |
is Director of Technical Services for Orkin, Inc. and an
acknowledged leader in the field of pest management.
www.orkincommercial.com for more information.
Quick Rinse - News From Around The World
Lapauw Acquired By Private Investor
BELGIUM — Lapauw and its affiliate Lapauw France have been acquired by Mr. Philippe D’heygere for an undisclosed amount. The Belgian based manufacturer of industrial laundry equipment officially announced that it has recently sold its rights to Mr. Philippe D’heygere, a successful international entrepreneur with special interests in global expansion.
“I have worked with the Lapauw family for 46 years. Following my first meeting with the new owner, I feel very confident that this agreement will provide the experience and resources needed to expand into new markets and bolster support to our existing distributors and customers,” said Andre Henrard, Export Manager for the countries outside Europe. The current management will remain active and no personnel change is expected.
In a joint statement to their distributors, the Lapauw family announced “Mr. D’heygere has international expertise and will reinforce the position of the Lapauw Group as a successful worldwide leader of premier laundry equipment.”